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"Switch"-ing toys, part 2 - inside wiring.

"Switch"-ing Toys, Part 2 - Inside Wiring

Using a battery-operated toy is a wonderful source of fun and enjoyment for all. A method for adapting a battery-operated toy using the copper wafer/battery-interrupt device was outlined in the April/May 1990 issue. This method is effective and useful for making a simple and quick modification to a toy. Some difficulties can occur when using this method, however, and you may want to consider rewiring the toy from inside.

The first step is to take apart the toy, carefully noting how the parts fit together to ensure putting the toy together properly when you are finished. Secondly, the circuit must be identified when rewiring the toy so that the original switch may be bypassed and still operate even when another switch is added. To identify the circuit, strip both ends of a single piece of insulated wire. Beginning at the toy's original switch, hold one end of the wire on either of the two soldered joints located on both sides of the original switch. While holding this in place, test to see if the circuit is complete by touching the other end of the wire to soldered connections along the toy's original wiring path. The circuit is located when th etoy operates. Devices called continuity testers can be purchased to help you identify the circuit.

After rewiring the toy, its operation will vary according to the type of switch that is used. The switch may operate the toy only when pressed, or may turn the toy "on" or "off" with one press. The original switch on the toy may be used simultaneously by another child or adult.

In some cases, the switch may be moved to another location on the toy. The same methods for rewiring the toy are followed. Instead of connecting a phone plug for use with another switch, a new switch may be connected. A hole can be drilled on the toy's surface to mount the switch in place. Having the switch on the toy's surface makes the switch more accessible and offers a larger striking surface. This type of modification is helpful for toys that move in many directions. Extending a wire from the toy to allow for the use of another switch is possible, as long as the wire is suspended away from the toy to keep it from becoming tangled during play. The toy is then ready for you and your child to enjoy!

Alice Wershing is Toy Program Coordinator and Computer Resource Specialist at the Disabled Children's Computer Center in Berkeley, California. The author wishes to thank Mary Lester for her assistance during the development of this article.
COPYRIGHT 1990 EP Global Communications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Wershing,. Alice
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Date:Jun 1, 1990
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